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Proceedings Paper

Field experiments using SPEAR: a speech control system for UGVs
Author(s): Siddharth R. Chhatpar; Chris Blanco; Jeffrey Czerniak; Orin Hoffman; Amit Juneja; Tarun Pruthi; Dongqing Liu; Robert Karlsen; Jonathan Brown
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Paper Abstract

This paper reports on a Field Experiment carried out by the Human Research and Engineering Directorate at Ft. Benning to evaluate the efficacy of using speech to control an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) concurrently with a handcontroller. The SPEAR system, developed by Think-A-Move, provides speech-control of UGVs. The system picks up user-speech in the ear canal with an in-ear microphone. This property allows it to work efficiently in high-noise environments, where traditional speech systems, employing external microphones, fail. It has been integrated with an iRobot PackBot 510 with EOD kit. The integrated system allows the hand-controller to be supplemented with speech for concurrent control. At Ft. Benning, the integrated system was tested by soldiers from the Officer Candidate School. The Experiment had dual focus: 1) Quantitative measurement of the time taken to complete each station and the cognitive load on users; 2) Qualitative evaluation of ease-of-use and ergonomics through soldier-feedback. Also of significant benefit to Think-A-Move was soldier-feedback on the speech-command vocabulary employed: What spoken commands are intuitive, and how the commands should be executed, e.g., limited-motion vs. unlimited-motion commands. Overall results from the Experiment are reported in the paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7332, Unmanned Systems Technology XI, 73320L (30 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.818854
Show Author Affiliations
Siddharth R. Chhatpar, Think-A-Move, Ltd. (United States)
Chris Blanco, Think-A-Move, Ltd. (United States)
Jeffrey Czerniak, iRobot Corp. (United States)
Orin Hoffman, iRobot Corp. (United States)
Amit Juneja, Think-A-Move, Ltd. (United States)
Tarun Pruthi, Think-A-Move, Ltd. (United States)
Dongqing Liu, iRobot Corp. (United States)
Robert Karlsen, U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Jonathan Brown, Think-A-Move, Ltd. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7332:
Unmanned Systems Technology XI
Grant R. Gerhart; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker, Editor(s)

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